The Barclays Center arena was opened in 2012 as a new space to bring world-class sports and entertainment to the heart of Brooklyn, New York. Over eight years in the making and met with intense opposition, the venue became the first part of the Pacific Park development project. Since opening, it has become the home of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and the Islanders hockey team and has brought in national touring artists and family entertainment events. Read on to find out more about the Barclays Center.
Number Nine: Barclays Center Holds Small Artist Showcases in the Billboard Lounge
In 2015, the venue opened an exclusive club in conjunction with Billboard Magazine called the Billboard Lounge. Taking the place of the wildly expensive and underused Vault suites, the Billboard Lounge features post-game live shows in an intimate, 300-person setting. Artists who have previously played the Lounge include Alexa Ray Joel, Tokyo Police Club, Jadakiss and PARLOUR TRICKS. However, you have to be a VIP member or a season ticket holder to get in.
Number Eight: It Is the New Highest-Grossing Music Venue in the United States
For the year after its opening, the Barclays Center was the top-grossing music venue in the United States for the 15,000+ seat category, beating out Madison Square Garden, which came in at number two. It also ranked number two in the world for gross ticket sales and number three for regular ticket sales for the same period. The venue remains in the top 10 of world-class arenas three years later.
Number Seven: They Brought the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the Public for the First Time
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame usually conducts their induction ceremonies at intimate venues, namely the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, as well as auditoriums in Los Angeles and Cleveland. However, in 2014, they chose to conduct the ceremony at the Barclays Center and opened up seats to the general public. This is the first time attendance has been open to more than just the industry. In 2016, they will be doing it all again, as this year’s ceremony will return to Barclays.
Number Six: The Company That Developed the Barclays Center Also Owns the Mall Across the Street
The arena was developed by Forest City Ratner as part of a project to develop the Prospect Heights neighborhood. However, this isn’t Forest City Ratner’s only functional property in the area. The company also owns the Atlantic Terminal Mall, located above the LIRR station and across the street from Barclays Center.
Number Five: They Keep Their Food Local
Forgoing typical arena fare, Barclays Center features more than 55 local food vendors around the venue. Their newest endeavor, the Taste NY Bar, was announced in March 2016 as a partnership between the state’s Taste NY program and the venue in an effort to promote New York’s craft beverage industry.
Number Four: They Are Now Owned by a Russian Company
When the Barclays Center was first constructed, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov owned a 45 percent stake in the arena, as well as an 80 percent stake in the Brooklyn Nets. However, due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, he sold his stakes to his company, Onexim, based out of Russia. In late 2015, it was announced that Onexim would purchase the entire arena and team, buying out Forest City Ratner’s Bruce Ratner. This makes the arena and the Nets the first American team to be financially run by a company outside the United States.
Number Three: There Are No Barclays Banks in the United States
Though British banking chain Barclays bought the naming rights for the venue for 20 years at $200 Million, they still do not have a physical presence in the United States. They do not even have ATMs in the venue (those are provided by Free ATM, Inc.) and have no plans to acquire U.S. retail outlets.
Number Two: Though Hockey is Played There, the Arena Wasn’t Built for It
In 2015, the Islanders were moved from the Nassau Coliseum to the Barclays Center after multiple deals fell through concerning the Coliseum’s renovation. However, the Barclays Center was built for basketball, not hockey. When the Islanders play, the venue’s 18,000 seats turn into 15,795 seats, with 1,500 of them having an obstructed view of the floor. A previous design by famed architect Frank Gehry would have accommodated the sport, but was scrapped to save money.
Number One: They Have Elevators for Tour Buses
When the Barclays Center was built, a very unique feature was installed. With the lack of space in Brooklyn for bus ramps and parking, the arena was designed with bus elevators for visiting sports teams and tour buses. The only venue to have this feature, the elevator takes buses up, then a turntable spins it around to reposition it. Thank you for reading our list of 9 interesting facts about the Barclays Center. We hope you enjoyed it!